A baseball fan, no matter how old, is always a kid, right? If only we could get back to baseball that kids and old guys—as opposed to yuppies and on up—can identify with.
Then again, in the bright lexicon of baseball, why should there be any "if only"? What happened when I told Mac Farlane I wished I could meet Cool Papa Bell? And what did Cool Papa himself reply, when I asked him the obligatory question: Did he regret having been excluded from the white majors? With a calm assurance not unlike Mac Farlane's, Bell replied: "People say, 'Isn't it a shame you couldn't play in the major leagues?' Unh-uh. I could play. Like they used to say, 'You can't eat in this place.' And I would say, 'I can. Maybe you're not going to let me in there. But I can eat anywhere.' And I could play."
I thought of that as I peered at faint but enduring microfilm. Mac Farlane was saying, " Johnny Evers. A very brainy player. There haven't been many brainy players. Lots of smart players, but...."
You know what I was reminded of? One of those movies where there's a kid and there's this old guy who knows karate mysteries or can train your foal to be Seabiscuit or has a time machine.